This was originally posted on the Moving Image Archivists list by Lance Watsky, Preservation & Media Specialist, The Georgia Archives.
On Monday, the President of the US released his FY2006 budget
recommendations which slash or eliminate more than 150 federal programs. In that budget, the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) has been targeted to receive NO funding. This includes no funds for the grants program and no funds for staffing to support the NHPRC programs. In addition, the overall budget for the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has significant decreases in other areas of importance. The relevant section for NHPRC specifically and sparsely states: “National Historical Publications and Records Commission Grants. This program provides funding for grants that the Commission makes, nationwide, to preserve and publish records that document American history. The Budget proposes no new grants funding for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission in 2006.”
The governing boards of the Council of State Historical Records Coordinators (COSHRC), the National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators (NAGARA), and the Society of American Archivists (SAA) met in Washington on February 5 to discuss how we might collaborate on advocacy efforts, with a particular focus on sustaining and increasing appropriations to NHPRC. The three organizations had agreed last year to establish a joint task force on advocacy. That task force is being formed now, and our groups are prepared to move ahead quickly to lead the archival response to this threat to NHPRC and NARA.
In the next 5-10 days, the new Joint Task Force will issue an action plan with specific steps that archivists and other concerned citizens can take to support the effort to save NHPRC. Meanwhile, please be thinking about who you can mobilize in your state or region, especially those who might have influence with your Congressional delegation. One key message to present to Congress is that the exceptional benefits afforded by NHPRC come at a very low cost and have long-lasting effects. Specific stories of the impact that NHPRC has had on local institutions and programs can be especially effective.
Please forward this message to others in your area of the county
who have an interest in sustaining NHPRC funding for archival
If you have immediate questions or suggestions on how to proceed, please contact one of the following:
Council of State Historical Records Coordinators
Kathleen Roe, President
National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators
Timothy Slavin, President
Society of American Archivists
Rand Jimerson, President
Nancy Beaumont, Executive Director